SON approves 168 new standards, national standardisation strategy

The Governing Council of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has approved 168 new Standards for publication and dissemination to various sectors of the nation’s economy.

This, it said, was in furtherance to the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government. In a virtual meeting headed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the council also put its seal on the first ever Nigerian National Standardisation Strategy (NNSS) 2020 – 2022. The NNSS was developed by SON to identify priority areas to focus on, based on national needs assessment.

Sani-Gwarzo said that the document was accompanied by a National Implementation Plan that gave  orientation to the national standardisation work within a three year duration. The NNSS, according to him, had identified a total of 658 standardisation projects in key priority areas classified by economic sectors as highlighted in federal government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and other related national strategic plans. Sani-Gwarzo described the establishment of the NNSS as outstanding and an epoch- making achievement,  and commended  the administration of the Director General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma. He also commended the SON management for resolving all promotion arrears and conducting staff promotion exercises as and when due.

The permanent secretary lauded the management for its resolve to go ahead with the 2020 promotion exercise in spite of the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. In his welcome address, Aboloma enumerated the organisation’s roles and support in the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said they include leveraging its international collaboration to make necessary and relevant international standards available to local manufacturers at no cost. “The organisation also waived charges relating to importation of essential materials while also fast tracking the process,” he said. Aboloma said that SON had also been providing necessary technical quality assurance support to local manufacturers involved in the manufacture of Personal Protective Equipment  (PPE) required for the prevention and control of COVID-19 nationwide, through its state offices.

Commenting on the approval of 168 Nigerian Industrial Standards by the Council after the meeting, the SON Chief Executive said they include 64 for Electrical/Electronic products and 53 for Chemical Technology. Others are, 47 for Food and Agricultural products; three for Civil/Building Technology products as well as the reviewed standard for Hotel and Serviced Accommodation Management System and Rating – Requirements and Guidance for Use. He also highlighted some of the standards to include review of standards for fertilisers, review of existing and development of new standards for the Tomato and Cassava Value Chains.

“We also have the review on the adoption of international standards on environmental testing, adoption of international recommendations for renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification among many others,” he said. The director general assured that the approved standards would be published promptly while awareness programmes would be carried out with relevant sectoral stakeholders

This, he said, was to encourage voluntary uptake of the standards across industries. He reiterated that the newly approved 168 Nigerian industrial standards cut across various products and services and were of great economic, regulatory and industrial importance for Nigeria. On the importance of the NNSS, he stated that it would enable the nation develop standards in a most effective way, using available resources in the most efficient manner. (NAN)

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